The Best Time of Day to Text Your Customers

How to tailor the timing of your text messages based on Wishroute’s research, internal data, and customer preference
by 
Katie Piltch

SMS is one of the most effective ways to get in touch with customers. According to the Mobile Marketing Association, 94% of SMS messages sent are actually both opened and read. But just because a customer read it, doesn’t mean they liked it. Often, customers find texts to be intrusive if they come at inconvenient times of day and are too busy to respond. So when is the best time of day to text your customers?

Regulatory Guidelines for Texting

With such huge potential for your company when it comes to text messaging, your company first needs to ensure it adequately follows all regulatory guidelines outlined by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and defined by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). 

No matter what time you text customers, before you begin, you must gain express written consent that is both documented and saved. Doing so validates a contract between the company and the end user to communicate via SMS. This contract must entail, in one single form:

  • Business Name
  • Reason for Messaging
  • Message Frequency
  • Rates Disclaimer
  • Privacy Policy and Terms
  • Instructions for Immediate Opt-Out

Although this may seem like a lot of information to include in just one text message, it can be done quite succinctly. Here’s an example you can customize for your company’s needs:

Hi [Name]! We’re so excited you signed up to be a part of [Company]. We’re here to personally support you via text - we’ll check in twice a week to see how you’re doing. If you don’t want our support, reply STOP at any time to opt out. Reply HELP to review terms. Msg & data rates may apply.

The Best Time Of Day To Text Customers

So when is the best time of day to text your customer base? The answer is tricky, thanks to the ever changing use cases of text messaging. Various studies have shown that there is no one best time to text a customer, as it is dependent on individual user preferences, which can change day to day. 

At Wishroute, we consider the research, our internal data set, and then also tailor the timing of our text messaging based on the customer we’re working with and their customer personas.

An example of this is when we teamed up with BCBSMA and the Esplanade Association to bring a virtual winter fitness challenge to the Boston Esplanade. To keep participant engagement high, we designed a user experience for the customer’s community that included daily, motivating conversations around healthy habits. We texted participants an inspirational tip each morning and then sent an evening check-in text asking how they prioritized their health that day to keep them on track. Personas ranged from students, to working parents, to retirees so enabling individuals to change preferences was critical. Given 90% engaged, it gave us a great set of data around the best time to text:

  • Morning inspirational messages: got the most traction (via clicks or responses) on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 8-10am
  • Evening messages where we prompted for a response: were best received (via clicks or responses) Monday-Thursdays between 7-8pm

For similar customers moving forward, we’ll make sure that week night check-ins are given extra attention over weekend nights. 

Depending on the day of the week, the best time to text changes, so consider what day of the week you’ll be texting when you set the time. We don’t want to change our users’ texting habits -- we want to meet them where they already are.

The best practice is to enable individuals to set their preferred time and frequency that they want to hear from you.  At Wishroute, we proactively let end users know they can change the timing and frequency of their texts by texting back their preferences. This ensures people feel like they have control and we stay a positive part of someone’s day rather than a nuisance. If you want to offer that flexibility, it’s important to remind people once a month that they have this ability, as they may not remember or assume it’s an option. However, giving people that customization makes the conversation more personal and will extend the length of time someone wants to receive texts from your company. 

A Little Human Perspective Goes A Long Way With Text

What’s most important to remember is to put yourselves in the shoes of your end user. Carefully consider the timing of your messages and always think about:

  • Your customer personas and who you’re talking to -- for example a working mom will be in a different place than a student on Monday
  • Where you want potential customers to be when they see your text to keep your company relevant and top of mind
  • How you can give individuals the flexibility to control the time and frequency that you text them so if they get annoyed they don’t opt-out

For example, a meal subscription company primarily selling to working parents may want to text in the late afternoon, when a potential customer might be planning what they’re having for dinner. A retail outlet, though, may want to alert customers a few days in advance of a weekend sale, but then also send a follow up with a special coupon code on Friday afternoon to increase the likelihood of them coming. 

As companies, we need to understand consumer habits to get the most out of our text message campaigns. Always consider what times of day will elicit both positive and negative reactions and use what you’ve learned from previous text campaigns to improve your efforts moving forward. 

                 Want to start creating more meaningful connections with your            customers via text? Text "Wishroute" to (617) 553-6631 to learn more.

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